National Science Foundation's Office of Cyberinfrastructure has announced the availability of grants to U.S. academic institutions under its Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet) program.
Here's an excerpt from the solicitation:
Science and engineering research and education are increasingly digital and increasingly data-intensive. Digital data are not only the output of research but provide input to new hypotheses, enabling new scientific insights and driving innovation. Therein lies one of the major challenges of this scientific generation: how to develop the new methods, management structures and technologies to manage the diversity, size, and complexity of current and future data sets and data streams. This solicitation addresses that challenge by creating a set of exemplar national and global data research infrastructure organizations (dubbed DataNet Partners) that provide unique opportunities to communities of researchers to advance science and/or engineering research and learning.
The new types of organizations envisioned in this solicitation will integrate library and archival sciences, cyberinfrastructure, computer and information sciences, and domain science expertise to:
- provide reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science and/or engineering data over a decades-long timeline;
- continuously anticipate and adapt to changes in technologies and in user needs and expectations;
- engage at the frontiers of computer and information science and cyberinfrastructure with research and development to drive the leading edge forward; and
- serve as component elements of an interoperable data preservation and access network.
By demonstrating feasibility, identifying best practices, establishing viable models for long term technical and economic sustainability, and incorporating frontier research, these exemplar organizations can serve as the basis for rational investment in digital preservation and access by diverse sectors of society at the local, regional, national, and international levels, paving the way for a robust and resilient national and global digital data framework.
These organizations will provide:
- a vision and rationale that meet critical data needs, create important new opportunities and capabilities for discovery, innovation, and learning, improve the way science and engineering research and education are conducted, and guide the organization in achieving long-term sustainability;
- an organizational structure that provides for a comprehensive range of expertise and cyberinfrastructure capabilities, ensures active participation and effective use by a wide diversity of individuals, organizations, and sectors, serves as a capable partner in an interoperable network of digital preservation and access organizations, and ensures effective management and leadership; and
- activities to provide for the full data management life cycle, facilitate research as resource and object, engage in computer science and information science research critical to DataNet functions, develop new tools and capabilities for learning that integrate research and education at all levels, provide for active community input and participation in all phases and all aspects of Partner activities, and include a vigorous and comprehensive assessment and evaluation program.
Potential applicants should note that this program is not intended to support narrowly-defined, discipline-specific repositories. . . .
Anticipated Type of Award: Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 5 — Two to three awards are anticipated in each of two review cycles (one review cycle for fiscal year FY2008 awards and one for FY2009) for a total of five awards, contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds. Each award is limited to a total of up to $20,000,000 (direct plus indirect costs) for up to 5 years. The initial term of each award is expected to be 5 years with the potential at NSF's sole discretion for one terminal renewal for another 5 years, subject to performance and the availability of funds. Such performance is to include serving the needs of the relevant science and engineering research and education communities and catalyzing new opportunities for progress. If a second five-year award is made, NSF funding is expected to decrease in each successive year of the award as the Partner transitions to a sustainable economic model with other sources of support. The actual amount of the annual decrease in NSF support will be established through the cooperative agreement. Note that the maximum period NSF will support a DataNet Partner is 10 years.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $100,000,000 — Up to $100,000,000 over a five year period is expected to be available contingent on the quality of proposals received and pending the availability of funds.